by Ivan Andreyevich Krylov (1769 - 1844)
Translation © by Sergey Rybin

Стрекоза и Муравей
Language: Russian (Русский)  after the French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Попрыгунья Стрекоза
Лето красное пропела;
Оглянуться не успела,
Как зима катит в глаза.
Помертвело чисто поле;
Нет уж дней тех светлых боле,
Как под каждым ей листком
Был готов и стол, и дом.
Всё прошло: с зимой холодной
Нужда, голод настаёт;
Стрекоза уж не поёт:
И кому же в ум пойдёт
На желудок петь голодный!
Злой тоской удручена,
К Муравью ползёт она:
'Не оставь меня, кум милой!
Дай ты мне собраться с силой
И до вешних только дней
Прокорми и обогрей!' - 
'Кумушка, мне странно это:
Да работала ль ты в лето?'
Говорит ей Муравей.
'До того ль, голубчик, было?
В мягких муравах у нас
Песни, резвость всякий час,
Так, что голову вскружило'.- 
'А, так ты...' - 'Я без души
Лето целое всё пела'.- 
'Ты всё пела? это дело:
Так поди же, попляши!'

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Note on Transliterations


Based on:

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by R. Sprato ; composed by Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein.
  • Also set in Hungarian (Magyar), a translation by Dezső Kosztolányi (1885 - 1936) , "A tücsök meg a hangya", first published 1916 ; composed by Ferenc Farkas.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sergey Rybin) , "The Dragonfly and the Ant", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La libellule et la fourmi", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 30
Word count: 133

The Dragonfly and the Ant
Language: English  after the Russian (Русский) 
Hopping carefree, the Dragonfly
Sang away the gorgeous summer.
Before she knew it,
The winter swirled into her eyes.
The open field has withered, 
Those blissful days are no more,
When under every leaf
There was a meal and a home ready for her.
All has vanished: with cold winter
hunger and need approach.
The Dragonfly sings no longer:
Who would dream of singing
On an empty stomach! 
Anguished by bitter sorrow
To the Ant she crawls. 
"Don't forsake me, dear cousin. 
Permit me to gather my strength
And only till the first days of spring
Sustain and keep me warm!" - 
"Dear cousin, it is strange to me:
But did you work during the summer?"
The Ant says to her.
"Did I have time, my dear?
In our silken grasses
Every hour we were singing and frolicking.
My head was spinning!" --
"So, then you  ..." -- "Without a thought,
I sang away the entire summer". --
"So you were singing? That's fine business:
Go on then - dance now!"


  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2020 by Sergey Rybin, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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This text was added to the website: 2020-06-01
Line count: 30
Word count: 168